The carmaker BMW has made Seattle the launching pad for a new car-sharing service called ReachNow. It’s similar to Car2Go, and the city could allow still more companies to enter the market.
As KUOW’s Amy Radil reports, ReachNow says it plans other services as well.
For the past few years, Car2Go has allowed customers to reserve cars on short notice and pay by the hour.
They can park the car for free even on a street that is metered or zoned for residents only.
Car2Go currently has 750 cars in Seattle. ReachNow is a BMW subsidiary that has about half that number and costs slightly more.
ReachNow’s Chief Customer Officer Sandra Phillips calls it a “premium” service that offers users a two-minute registration process and a choice of cars, between the BMW “3” series, the i3 electric car, or the MINI Cooper.
Phillips: “Most of our fleet is already out in the field, and the rest is being distributed as we speak, so yes it’s up and running.”
Both companies paid the city of Seattle just over $1,700 per vehicle this year for parking rights.
ReachNow will be headquartered in Seattle, but plans to expand to additional cities soon. And Phillips says the company will soon offer other services like chauffeurs, car delivery, car-sharing by people who already own MINI Coopers, and the ability to pick up and drop off cars at SeaTac airport.
A portion of the $1.8 million that Seattle will collect this year from these car-sharing services will go to ORCA cards and other alternatives to car ownership.